Get ready for winter
19th Oct 2016

Keep warm and healthy

Keeping warm over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Here are some tips on how to keep warm and healthy:

  • Get a flu jab – flu vaccination is offered free of charge to people who are at risk, pregnant women, carers and some young children to ensure that they are protected against catching flu and developing serious complications.
  • Eat well – food gives you energy, which helps to keep you warm. So, try to have regular hot meals and drinks throughout the day.
  • Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F).
  • Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights.
  • Keep active when you’re indoors.
  • Wear several layers of light clothes.
  • Check your heating and cooking appliances are safe.

Look out for your neighbours

Remember that other people, like older neighbours, friends and family members, may need a bit of extra help over the winter. There’s a lot you can do to help people who are frailer than you:

  • Icy pavements and roads can be very slippery and cold weather can stop people from getting out and about. Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling under the weather.
  • Make sure they’re stocked up with enough food supplies for a few days, in case they can’t go out. If they do need to go out in the cold, encourage them to wear shoes with a good grip and a scarf around the mouth to protect them from the cold air, and to reduce their risk of chest infections.

Get help

If you feel like you’re coming down with something, even if it’s just a cough or a cold, talk to your pharmacist for advice on getting any pain relief you need such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

If you do need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 and speak to a call adviser who will be able to direct you to a local service that is open.

For more information visit NHS Stay Well.